WRITING ON THE FLY
By GEORGE LISET
It was a cool morning, typical for late September. I traveled north to Lake Winnipesaukee to see if the Landlocked Salmon were heading to the rivers to spawn.
There were a few trees that had hints of starting to change colors, but various shades of green still dominated the color pallet. When I arrived at one pull off, I realized it was probably still early for the salmon. I didn’t see any other vehicles, which is usually the sign of any fishing action. Word gets around quickly when the fishing heats up.
I decided to use my three weight, eight-foot Orvis Superfine and tied on a couple of bead head soft hackle wet flies and try my luck. On the trail I met another fly fisher who was doing the same thing I was, looking for early arrivals.
He mentioned that a friend had caught a couple small salmon the previous day. With the hope of catching something other than a panfish I headed up the trail.
On my second cast I got a hard tug on my line. As the light rod was starting to bend, my heart started beating with excitement. As I reeled in I found a big river Dace on the end. I consider river Dace as minnows on steroids. They are not much to look at but fun to catch on a light rod. I decided to head up the river. On my way I met a husband and wife who were fly fishing. Sal and his wife had just moved to New Hampshire from out of state and were exploring the local fishing spots. They had fished North Conway a few days before and I shared some local spots with them. I was thinking to myself that I had seen more women fly fishing this past season, as well as more women involved in fly fishing.
Just last week while at Kittery Trading Post I was talking to my friend Donna who works in the fishing department and has a wealth of fly fishing information. I told her I was looking for a green Hornburg and that I only had the natural tan colored ones. Donna said they didn’t have any at the moment and asked if I had a green magic marker. I replied in the affirmative. She then said, “There you go!” Sometimes I can be too concrete and sequential.
On my last trip to Pittsburg, NH, while fishing the Trophy Stretch I came upon a group of women fishing. As I was walking past them down the river I was greeted by a lovely Southern accent. I said hello back and then said, “You sound like you are from down south, where in Massachusetts are you from?” After a chuckle the women mentioned they were members of the Music City Fly Girls, here for the week. The women hailed from Maryland, North Carolina and Tennessee.
As a group they would plan trips fly fishing around the country. They were heading to West Yellowstone later on in the summer. I mentioned that I had always wanted to fish Cherokee, North Carolina and they kindly volunteered to give up a few prime fishing spots when I did. They were having great luck on their trip and vowed to be back. They showed me a few pictures of some of the fish they caught. I said it wasn’t fair because they caught all the big ones.
As we parted I wished them luck and safe passage home. I was thinking to myself that I didn’t realize that New Hampshire was becoming so Cosmopolitan. Then I thought I might have to go to Maine to learn a new language.
George Liset of Dover is an award-winning outdoor writer and avid fly fisherman who shares insights of his time on the water exploring New Hampshire streams and rivers as well of those around New England. George is a graduate of Wheaton College, Illinois, and the University of New Hampshire. His column Writing on the Fly has been honored by the New England Press Association and the New Hampshire Press Association.